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Mariners up for 6 Esurance MLB Awards

SEATTLE -- Nelson Cruz wasted no time making an impact in his first season with the Mariners as he finished second in the Majors in home runs, which is why the big right fielder has been selected as one of 13 finalists for Best Everyday Player in Major League Baseball for the Esurance MLB Awards.

Cruz led the Mariners with a .302 batting average and 93 RBIs in addition to his 44 home runs, second only to the 47 of Baltimore's Chris Davis among all MLB sluggers, proving to be an offensive force in his first year in Seattle.

Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is also up for an award as one of the nominees for Best Starting Pitcher after racking up 18 wins, the second-most in his career.

Video: 2015 MLB Awards: Best Starting Pitcher - Hernandez

The Mariners also have four other nominees for Esurance Awards, including Best Fan Catch of the Year for a Safeco Field follower who used a bucket of popcorn to snare a ball.

Mariners radio broadcaster Rick Rizzs' performance on the final out of Hisashi Iwakuma's no-hitter earned nomination for the Best Radio Call, the presentation and first pitch by 108-year-old fan Evelyn Jones on her birthday was nominated for Best Video Board Moment and the Mariners' team Twitter account was nominated for Best Social Media Personality.

Video: 2015 MLB Awards: Best Videoboard Moment - B-day 108

The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor Major League Baseball's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five components, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) voters.

Individual awards will go to the Best Major Leaguer in addition to the winners in the following categories: The Best Everyday Player, Starting Pitcher, Rookie, Defensive Player, Breakout Player, Bounceback Player, Manager, Executive, Social Media Personality and Postseason Performer.

Winners will also be recognized for the year's best offensive play, defensive play, Moment, single-game performance, Social Media Post, Celebrity Fan, Fan Catch, Interview, TV call, radio call, Player-Fan Interaction, Video Board Moment and Trending Topic.

Cruz is one of 13 finalists for Best Everyday Player, along with Mike Trout of the Angels, Manny Machado of the Orioles, Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays, Bryce Harper of the Nationals, Buster Posey of the Giants, Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs, Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets, Paul Goldschmidt of the D-backs, Nolan Arenado of the Rockies, Lorenzo Cain of the Royals and Joey Votto of the Reds.

Hernandez is competing for Best Starting Pitcher honors with Chris Archer of the Rays, Sonny Gray of the A's, Dallas Keuchel of the Astros, David Price of the Blue Jays, Chris Sale of the White Sox, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke of the Dodgers, Jake Arrieta of the Cubs, Madison Bumgarner of the Giants, Gerrit Cole of the Pirates, Jacob deGrom of the Mets and Max Scherzer of the Nationals.

Voting will remain open through Nov. 13 by visiting Winners will be announced live on MLB Network and on Nov. 20.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast.
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